/>
X
Government

Secret U.S. surveillance court suspends Silicon Valley lawsuits until government shutdown ends

The secretive court suspends operations until the government ends its shutdown. A number of Silicon Valley tech companies are battling the court for data disclosure transparency.
zack-whittaker-hs2016-rtsquare-1.jpg
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on
deliverance01-620x370
Image: Justice Dept.

It's bad news for Silicon Valley tech giants that are fighting on behalf of their users to disclose crucial data requests by the U.S. government, as the case grinds to a halt amid the government shutdown.

In a published filing, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) granted a motion holding off on any continued litigation, because attorneys with the U.S. Justice Department are not yet allowed to return to work.

The court said that active litigation will be put on hold until attorneys with the Justice Dept. "are permitted to resume their civil litigation functions and consult with [the tech companies'] access to classified information." 

It follows an earlier request by the Justice Dept., submitted to the FISC on Monday.

Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, among others, are battling with the U.S. government in regards to its massive surveillance programs, which were disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June. 

The companies are trying to prove that they were forced to disclose user and customer data to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), and that it was not acting voluntarily or in collusion with the intelligence agency as initial reports suggested. Along with that, many companies outside the big named four are also trying to force the government to allow them to disclose full figures relating to requests for user data.

But as a result of the government shutdown, the court is shutting its doors. 

Here's the short and sweet filing from the secret court.

Editorial standards

Related

Southwest Airlines has a big problem and customers may not know it
screen-shot-2022-09-27-at-9-38-07-am.png

Southwest Airlines has a big problem and customers may not know it

American Airlines may end a real customer advantage for a sad, twisted reason
screen-shot-2022-07-06-at-4-32-47-pm.png

American Airlines may end a real customer advantage for a sad, twisted reason

I went to an Apple store and all I heard was bad news
iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

I went to an Apple store and all I heard was bad news